By Annet Nakanwagi,
The national drug authority (NDA) has approved the use of Dr Edward Kazire herbal drug, Vidicine, as a local herbal complementary towards the treatment of the Covid19 pandemic.
The approval comes two months after government approved Covidex manufactured by Mbarara University of Science and Technology Professor, Patrick Ogwang under Jena Herbals Ltd.
While addressing journalists at the NSSF building in Mbarara Wednesday, Edward Kazire, the Principal Investigator and a renowned proprietor of Kazire Health Products Limited said the approval comes after various assessments and inspections of the factory manufacturing facility in Lugazi Mbarara.
“One year ago, we started on this battle of Covid-19 management when the country was in a big panic as you are well aware that we had fewer support machines in most of our health facilities
He says through Chinese experts, the Kazire Health Products Limited scientific team was able to first study the virus movements to embark on research and manufacturing the drug to deal with the virus
“It was not easy but we are grateful to the Chinese scientists who quickly sequenced and they gave us the sequence of the virus because without understanding the sequence of this virus it would not be easy for us to understand how we could quickly deal with this virus and handling it” Kazire explained
“Tonight, I would like to inform Ugandans and the world of science, that the journey of finding this solution is taking shape. We registered a landmark step on the 16th of August 2021 when National Drug Authority notified our herbal medicine under the brand name Kazire Vidicine. This notification permits that, our drug can now be manufactured at large scale and be sold in all registered and accredited pharmacies, and drug shops across the country”. He added
He added that unlike other vaccines already on market, Vidicine is a complementary treatment drug in the management of COVID-19 symptoms.
“It is to stop inflammation to protect the lungs and keep oxygen levels up so that there is less risk for you to need ICUs which are limited. It also protects the organs and control the viral replication until when one turns negative” says Kazire
Dr Kazire further noted that during the study of the drug, they focused on the molecules of life which would stop the inflammation of the lungs, kidneys, and the heart.
“Once we could do that, we would arrest the cytokine stone which is the biggest challenge where the health workers give up and we lose people,”
“That’s why today we are having a lot of people which are treated and become Covid-19 negative but they still die because the organs are already incapacitated.” he added.
According to the manufucteres, more than 50 plants were collected and screened to identify molecules within the plants that are within the manufucturer vicinity.
The studies, standardization, HPRC tests and identification of molecules were according to the manufucturer conducted at Mbarara University of science and technology.
Track Atuhaire, the research Assistant at Kazire health products Ltd, says that Vidicine was used to treat more than 290 Covid19 patients in districts of Mbarara, Kampala, Sheema, Ntungamo, and Rukungiri before being approved by NDA officials.
“We treated more than 290 Covid-19 patients on their home care. Supplemented with this product, none of them went for oxygen so that is one major land mark that we know we have achieved” says Sedrack
Vidicine is the second Covid 19 compliment after Covidex formulated from herbal plants at Mbarara university of science and technology laboratories.
Dr Kazire disclosed that the research study and manufucturing processes has costed him over Shillings 370million.
“We have already injected in around 370million in this research. it was only possible because we were working in partnership with Mbarara University of science and technology that’s why the cost became so low but if you are to do it as an independent researcher you can’t manage.
Each bottle of syrup Vidicine goes for Ugx 10,000 in pharmacies and drug shops which is relatively cheaper compared to ICU fees in Uganda.
“Because we want it affordable for the people it shouldn’t cost more than oxygen. If it costs more than a unit of oxygen then we will not have provided” says Kazire
Kazire further challenged scientists to manufacture more scientific innovations to address the financial challenges they encounter during their practices rather than going for strikes.
“We cannot keep hugging professors when we have nothing to prophecy that’s why I honour Prof Ogwang for the journey he took and he opened the door for us and we are behind busy moving and we shall not withdraw,” Kazire said
He urged Government to work with international investors who have already succeeded in vaccine production.
“One focal thing the government should do is to have our own vaccine plant, a dry lab is needed at the university we delayed because we never had great computers which are so fast to do the molecule docking and with strong equipment for bio-informatics,” says Kazire
Abiaz Rwamwiri, NDA’s spokesperson confirmed that the authority notified Vidicine herbal medicine on August 16th, 2021.
NDA has declined the herbal medicine to covid19 drug but a relief to cough, sore throat, and flue.
“The product has been formulated from herbal plants that have been traditionally used to alleviate symptoms of several diseases,” says Rwamwiri national drug spokesperson who stressed that the medicine does not cure Covid-19 but it can supplement the medicine being used by medics to treat Covid-19 patients.
The authority has advised the manufacturer to conduct clinical trials which are the highest level of evidence to ascertain any claims of treatment.